The hardest race of my life
I've been a runner for as long as I can remember. From what my mother says, and she says a lot, I started running basically before I could walk. Now before we call the Olympic committee let me set the record straight. I'm not super fast, and I don't win medals or even place in my age group, but running has always been apart of who I am. It keeps me sane, and keeps the general public safe.
In the past, I've run several difficult long distance races. Many of them being 13.1 miles of rough terrain, steep mountian inclines, and the single track trails of trail racing, to steep mountainous roads, paved or gravel in cross country relay races, to running long distances in the dead heat of summer for the sake of training. Even taking on some long distance mud and obstacle races. Some of those races I've sworn to never run again, others I continue to enter in nearly yearly, possibly because the beer tent at the end of the race is pretty rewarding.
So, as luck would have it, my first major injury at the tender age of 41 would come from running. Breaking my foot and tearing ligaments in my ankle, finding myself on blood thinners as a blood clot sets in. All from a rogue rock in the road, and a runner who was not being aware of her surroundings and had her head in the clouds.
This begain a whole whole new race. When I'm not out kicking asphalt, I like to pretend I'm a decent artist. And I find myself invited to show my work with artists that are beyond decent. A mere week before breaking my foot, I had begun a large painting to display, nothing too crazy, only 3ft x 5ft, along with a few other smaller pieces in this summer's "Expressions" Art Exhibition. I knew when I began the piece that it would be a tough one to finish in a few short months time. Little did I know how much harder it was going to be. I found myself struggling to find ways to paint, while on crutches. It wasn't pretty. I fell over a few times, I cried more than once. Self doubt crept in constantly and I nearly quit all together, daily. There were a few raging moments when I contemplated a bonfire, and my canvas would supply the kindling, and questioned my choices in life. Suddenly a job at Starbucks doesn't seem so bad after all. ...the world doesn't need more art anyway, right?
It was then that I realized this was just like running that long distance race. It's no different, actually. When you get to mile 10, and you know you have 3.1 more miles to go, but you want to quit. Your body hurts, your lungs burn, you want to cry, you want to throw in the towel and take up a new hobby. Then it strikes you. The finish line isn't really that far away. You've been training for this for so long. You must persevere. You must put aside self doubt. You must finish what you started.
Hence, I have. I crossed that finish line, last night. Signing my name across the bottom of the canvas was the sweetest finish I've experienced yet, as an artist, but also as a runner. 65 hours of hard work, blood clots, sweat, tears, and more than a few curse words, but I've finished it. It is done.
...so, where's the beer tent??
Join me for the 2nd Annual Expressions Art Exhibition and Sale, I'll be featuring 5 new original Seascape Oil Paintings studied from the coasts of Oregon, available for purchase.
Communtiy Crearive Center
200 Mathews St
Fort Collins Co 80525
July 26-Aug 5th, 2017
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